The Philadelphia Eagles applied their franchise tag to quarterback Michael Vick on Tuesday.
The move ensures that Vick will remain in Philadelphia for the 2011 season, giving the team another year to assess his talent before attempting to ink him to a long-term deal.
Vick, who made $5.25 million in 2010, will also get a major pay-bump for the tag. The one-year deal is expected to pay out in the neighborhood of $20 million–the average salary for the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.
If franchise tags are upheld by the new CBA, the Eagles in a better position to potentially trade Kevin Kolb with Vick tied firmly in place.
Vick enjoyed a fairytale comeback last season, earning his first starting gig since his release from prison in 2008. He set career highs in passing yards (3,018), touchdowns passing (21), touchdowns rushing (9), completion percentage (62.6) and passer rating (100.2). He earned the fourth Pro Bowl selection of his career and finished second in voting for the NFL MVP.
The Eagles (10-6) held a 8-3 record when Vick started and won their first NFC East title since 2006.
Philadelphia also placed the transition tag on kicker David Akers.
The transition tag allows teams to match any offer given to the designated player in free agency, but it is uncertain if transition tags will be part of the new CBA.
Akers, a five-time Pro Bowler, has spent the last thirteen years of his career with the Eagles. There was speculation Akers wanted out of Philly after Andy Reid criticized him for missing two costly field goals in the team’s first-round playoff exit. It was later revealed that Akers had found out days before the game that his young daughter was likely suffering from cancer.
Akers publicly dismissed any hard feelings with Reid and said he wants to stay in Philadelphia if possible.